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Updated: March 1, 2014 00:36 IST

Only education can rid Muslims of poverty, says Harsh Mander

Special Correspondent
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A file photo of Harsh Mander. Photo: K. Murali Kumar
A file photo of Harsh Mander. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

The Muslim community faced problems of early dropouts, discrimination and the denial of participation in mixed schools, he said, while participating at a workshop on Muslim Children’s Issues and Right to Education here on Tuesday

A concerted and conscious effort was required to wean Muslim children away from workplaces to the educational stream. For this, both the government and the community had to come forward, said Harsh Mander, director of the Centre for Equity Studies, New Delhi.

“Unless the children are equipped to do better, they will never get out of the poverty trap,” he said, delivering the keynote address at a workshop on Muslim Children’s Issues and Right to Education here on Tuesday. The workshop was organised by the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP) of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (Manuu) and child rights body ‘Save the Children’.

The Muslim community was faced with early dropout of children, discrimination and the denial of participation in mixed schools. Muslims, who constituted highest self-employed community, saw no point in studying further with discrimination at every level, leading to the community being excluded from the growing economy.

The community in Kashmir felt let down at the lack of uproar over the incidents of rape in the Valley vis-à-vis the outrage following the Delhi incident, Mr. Mander said.

He called for opening a large number of residential schools for child labour and street children, strong enforcement of Child Labour Act and conscious promotion of mixed education.

‘Rising discrimination’

State Minorities Commission chairman Abid Rasool Khan expressed concern over rising discrimination in matters connected with Muslims, pointing out how compounder posts remained unfilled in Unani medicine hospitals while those in Ayurvedic and Homeopathic ones were filled straightaway.

CSSEIP Director Prof. Kancha Ilaiah said child labour among Muslims was the highest in the country with situation in Ahmedabad being the worst.

He regretted the poor intake in the six residential schools set up for minorities in the State and said this made the situation vulnerable for child labour.

Manuu pro-vice chancellor, Dr. Khwaja M. Shahid, also spoke.

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1. But good schools do NOT admit Muslim kids. They consider them untouchables ! Look at the Admission Records of the Top Schools of India (Outlook 2002 Issue)., make a list., document the admission profile., and you will realise that the gates of these schools are practically closed on the muslim child.
2. These schools do not apply RTE on the ground. They grease palms at the lower-level, and an "ALL IS WELL" report is filed. What is the mechanism to enforce RTE.
3. A diverse student profile., a diverse class room., will strengthen the IDEA of India., but segregation and exclusivity starts from KG.
In the light of the above ugly realities, how can we claim to have an INCLUSIVE India ?

from:  G. Dastagir
Posted on: Feb 12, 2014 at 12:02 IST
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